James Madison University

Master of Science in Nursing Program


Nurse Practitioner Practicum

Arranging a Practicum Site


  1. Review the NP Practicum Site Selection Guidelines.
  2. It is the responsibility of each Nurse Practitioner student to arrange for practicum experiences. This means that students should begin early to identify individuals within their home communities with whom they would like to work.
  3. Contact Preceptor, Office Manager, or Academic Liaison at desired site.
  4. Complete the Practicum Contract Request Form. This form is designed to facilitate the process of obtaining an Educational Affiliation Agreement (also called a contract) between an Agency and James Madison University. Once this form is completed, it should be emailed to Andrea Knopp, Graduate Nurse Practitioner Clinical Coordinator, at (knoppaf@jmu.edu). Be sure to include the contact person’s name and fax number or email address. The person signing the contract should be the office manager, owner of business, medical director, etc. (may not be your preceptor, be sure to ask).
  5.  An Educational Affiliation Agreement must be signed by the Agency and returned to JMU School of Nursing before beginning practicum hours. Once you receive an email from Andrea Knopp confirming receipt of the signatures, you may begin your practicum hours. The Educational Affiliation Agreement is a legal contract between JMU and the clinical site. This is different than your Preceptor Agreement (See below).
  6. Review and sign the Preceptor Agreement with your Preceptor. Students should return this to your course Faculty. (The Educational Affiliation Agreement (contract) is different than your Preceptor Agreement. Both must be completed.)
  7. Confirm that all of your Required Practicum Documentation is completed in Certified Background. Please see policy in MSN Handbook (under Section V. Academic and Progression Policies).

Who Can Be a Preceptor?

Preceptors can be an NP, CNM, PA, MD, or DO. All preceptors must be Board Certified in their practice areas.

All preceptors must have at least 12 months of clinical experience.

NP Practicum Selection Guidelines


The purpose of these guidelines is to provide information about selection of appropriate clinical sites, and also to insure that the proper experiences are obtained to allow students to successfully complete the program. The NP program at JMU is a primary care FNP program. The following are guidelines for the Practicum hours.

  • FNP students must have a minimum of 40 OB hours (prenatal & postpartum) and 80 Pediatric hours (with pediatrician or PNP or PA in a pediatric focused practice setting).
  • If the student desires to do a specialty rotation (including acute care settings), no more than 80 hours may be completed in this site. The Specialty rotation must be completed during the same semester as the OB rotation: Practicum II or Practicum III.
  • 16 hours of Observation in a Specialty Area are an option during Practicum III only.
  • Preceptors may be a Nurse Practitioner, Certified Nurse Midwife, Physician (MD or DO), or Physician Assistant.
  • Preceptors must have 12 months of clinical experience.

Practicum I (NSG 671)-150 hours

Preferred sites are ambulatory sites that focus on acute care. These may include but are not limited to: College Health Centers, Mini-Clinics, Family Practices, Free Clinics, CHCs and rural health clinics.
The student should select one (1) site and plan on completing all hours at this site.

Practicum II (NSG 672)-250 hours

Preferred sites are ambulatory sites that see patients with chronic illnesses. These include family practices, internal medicine practices that do primary care, Free Clinics, CHCs and rural health clinics.

FNP students should complete either the OB or Pediatric requirements during this rotation. Therefore ideally the student is in 2 (3 if Specialty) sites during this Practicum. See above for Specialty site information.

Practicum III (NSG 673)-250 hours

Preferred sites for this rotation are ambulatory sites that are listed in Practicum II. If the student desires to do observation hours in a specialty, no more than 16 hours may be completed in the site.

FNP students should complete either the OB or Pediatric requirements during this rotation. Therefore ideally the student is in 2 (3 if Specialty) sites during this Practicum. See above for Specialty site information.

Please note: These are guidelines; clinical site limitations may require some adjustments. Adjustments when necessary must be approved by the Practicum faculty.